Related to: 'X Platoon'

Orion

Operation Mayhem

Steve Heaney, MC, Damien Lewis
Authors:
Steve Heaney, MC, Damien Lewis

2,000 blood-crazed rebels. 26 elite British soldiers. One man's explosive true story.Airlifted into the heart of the Sierra Leone jungle in the midst of the bloody civil war in 2000, 26 elite operators from the secret British elite unit X Platoon were sent into combat against thousands of Sierra Leonean rebels.Notorious for their brutality, the rebels were manned with captured UN armour, machine-guns and grenade-launchers, while the men of X Platoon were kitted with pitiful supplies of ammunition, malfunctioning rifles, and no body armour, grenades or heavy weapons.Intended to last only 48 hours, the mission mutated into a 16-day siege against the rebels, as X Platoon were denied the back-up and air support they had been promised, and were forced to make their stand alone. The half-starved soldiers, surviving on bush tucker, fought with grenades made from old food-tins and defended themselves with barricades made of sharpened bamboo-sticks, tipped in poison given to them by local villagers.Sergeant Steve Heaney won the Military Cross for his initiative in taking command after the platoon lost their commanding officer. OPERATION MAYHEM recounts his amazing untold true story, full of the rough-and-ready humour and steely fortitude with which these elite soldiers carried out operations far into hostile terrain.

Adam LeBor

Adam LeBor is an author and journalist with more than 25 years experience, who brings alive the human story behind his tenacious investigations.

Alistair Horne

Alistair Horne was educated at Le Rosey, Switzerland, and Jesus College, Cambridge. He ended his war service with the rank of Captain in the Coldstream Guards attached to MI5 in the Middle East. From 1952 to 1955 he worked as a foreign correspondent for the Daily Telegraph. In 1969 he founded the Alistair Horne research fellowship in modern history, St Antony's, Oxford. His numerous books on history and politics have been translated into over ten languages, he was awarded the Hawthornden prize (for THE PRICE OF GLORY) and the Wolfson prize (for A SAVAGE WAR OF PEACE). In 1992 he was awarded the CBE; in 1993 he received the French Légion d'Honneur for his work on French history and a Litt.D. from Cambridge University. He was knighted in 2003 for services to Franco-British relations.

Andrew Roberts

Andrew Roberts took a first in Modern History at Cambridge. He has been a professional historian since the publication of his life of Lord Halifax , The Holy Fox, in 1991, followed by Eminent Churchillians in 1994 . He contributes regularly to the Sunday Telegraph. Lives in Knightsbridge, London, and has two children. His Salisbury won the Wolfson History Prize in 2000. His books include Napoleon and Wellington in 2001, Hitler and Churchill (based on BBC-2 series) in 2003. What Might Have Been (editor) in 2004. His History of the English Speaking Peoples Since 1900 was published in 2006 and won the Walter Bagehot Prize .

Anne de Courcy

Anne de Courcy is a well-known writer and journalist. In the 1970s she was Woman's Editor on the London Evening News and in the 1980s she was a regular feature-writer for the Evening Standard. She is also a former feature writer and reviewer for the Daily Mail. Her recent books include THE VICEROY'S DAUGHTERS and DEBS AT WAR.Go to www.annedecourcy.com for more information.

Antonia Fraser

Antonia Fraser is the author of many widely acclaimed historical works, including the biographies MARY, QUEEN OF SCOTS (a 40th anniversary edition was published in May 2009), CROMWELL: OUR CHIEF OF MEN, KING CHARLES II and THE GUNPOWDER PLOT (CWA Non-Fiction Gold Dagger; St Louis Literary Award). She has written five highly praised books which focus on women in history, THE WEAKER VESSEL: WOMEN'S LOT IN SEVENTEENTH CENTURY ENGLAND (Wolfson Award for History, 1984), THE WARRIOR QUEENS: BOADICEA'S CHARIOT, THE SIX WIVES OF HENRY VIII, MARIE ANTOINETTE: THE JOURNEY (Franco-British Literary Prize 2001), which was made into a film by Sofia Coppola in 2006 and most recently LOVE AND LOUIS XIV: THE WOMEN IN THE LIFE OF THE SUN KING. She was awarded the Norton Medlicott Medal by the Historical Association in 2000. Antonia Fraser was made DBE in 2011 for her services to literature. Her most recent book is MUST YOU GO?, celebrating her life with Harold Pinter, who died on Christmas Eve 2008. She lives in London.Visit Antonia Fraser's website at www.antoniafraser.com

Chris Skidmore

Chris Skidmore was born in Bristol in 1981. He was educated at Bristol Grammar School and Christ Church, Oxford, where he was a St Cyre's and Dixon Scholar and President of the Oxford University Historical Society. He graduated in 2002 with a double first and was awarded the Gibbs Prize. He was an adviser and researcher to Bristol's bid for European Capital City of Culture 2008 and, more recently, was research assistant to Robert Lacey for his Great Tales of English History series. He currently works as a special adviser to Michael Gove MP.Visit Chris Skidmore's website at www.chrisskidmore.co.uk

Christopher Meyer

Christopher Meyer served as Ambassador to the United Kingdom to the United States from 1997 until 2003. He was a vital link in the important relationship between America and Britain, one of the closest periods since the Second World War. He had previously been British Ambassador to Germany and chief spokesman and press secretary for former Prime Minister John Major, and for Geoffrey Howe when he was Foreign Secretary. In 2003 Meyer was appointed Chairman of the Press Complaints Commission, a position he held until April 2009. He was knighted in 2001.

David Blakeley

Captain David Blakeley was second in command of the elite Pathfinder Platoon and fought in the Iraq war in 2003 and in Afghanistan after 9/11. Before that, with 1 PARA he saw action in Kosovo, Sierra Leone and Northern Ireland and was, at one point, the youngest Captain in the British Army. After being seriously injured in Iraq he fought his way back to physical fitness and went on to undertake SAS selection. He now works as a military consultant to TV and film production companies. Pathfinder is his first book. He lives in London.Visit David Blakeley's website at http://www.davidblakeley.co.uk and follow him on Twitter https://twitter.com/daveblakeley.

Donald Thomas

Donald Thomas (1926-) was born in Somerset and educated at Queen's College, Taunton, and Balliol College, Oxford. He holds a personal chair in the University of Wales, Cardiff, now Cardiff University. His numerous crime novels include two collections of Sherlock Holmes stories and a hugely successful historical detective series written under the pen name Francis Selwyn and featuring Sergeant Verity of Scotland Yard, as well as gritty police procedurals written under the name of Richard Dacre. He is also the author of seven biographies and a number of other non-fiction works, and won the Gregory Prize for his poems, Points of Contact. He lives in Bath with his wife.

Frank Pope

Frank Pope is the Ocean Correspondent of The Times and presenter for the BBC. Previously he worked on underwater expeditions all over the world under the auspices of Oxford MARE (Maritime Archaeological Research and Excavation Unit), including the excavation of Admiral Lord Nelson's flagship HMS Agamemnon. He divides his time between London and Nairobi.Visit Frank Pope's website http://frankpope.co.uk and follow him on Twitter at https://twitter.com/papafranco.

Gary Sheffield

Gary Sheffield is Professor of Modern History at King's College London. He is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, and author of Forgotten Victory: The First World War - Myths and Realities and The Somme. He broadcasts regularly on television and radio, and writes for the national press. He lives in Oxfordshire. Dr John Bourne is Director of the Centre for First World War Studies at the University of Birmingham. He is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and Vice-President of the Western Front Association. He has written widely on the First World War, including Britain and the Great War 1914-1918 and Who's Who in the First World War. He lives in Birmingham.

George Goodwin

George Goodwin is a history graduate of Cambridge, where he was awarded a Foundation exhibition. He is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing.You can follow George Goodwin on Twitter at https://twitter.com/GeorgeGoodwin1 and visit his website for more information www.georgegoodwin.com.

Ion Trewin

Ion Trewin is a London publisher. Originally a journalist, he was Literary Editor of The Times 1972-79. He was Alan Clark's editor and publisher for the original 'Diaries' and following his death edited two further volumes of the celebrated diaries. In 2008 he edited and introduced THE HUGO YOUNG PAPERS: Thirty Years of British Politics Off the Record (Allen Lane) which won the Channel 4 Political Book of the Year Award 2009. Married with a son who is a literary agent and a daughter who is a teacher, he has since 2006 been literary director of the Man Booker prizes. He was chairman of the Cheltenham Literature Festival 1996-2007.

John Lewis-Stempel

John Lewis-Stempel is the author of numerous anthologies and books on military history. He lives on a farm in Herefordshire with his wife and two children.Join John Lewis-Stempel on Facebook www.facebook.com/pages/John-Lewis-Stempel and follow him on Twitterhttps://twitter.com/JLewisStempel.

Kevin Wilson

Kevin Wilson has spent most of his working life as a staff journalist on British national newspapers, including the Daily Mail and latterly the Daily and Sunday Express. He is married with three grown-up sons and a daughter.

Marie Arana

Peruvian by birth, Marie Arana is former literary editor of the WASHINGTON POST and author of five books: BOLIVAR (winner of the 2014 LOS ANGELES TIMES Book Award for biography); a memoir, AMERICAN CHICA (a finalist for the National Book Award and the PEN/Martha Albrand Award); THE WRITING LIFE: WRITERS ON HOW THEY THINK AND WORK; and two novels set in South America: CELLOPHANE (a finalist for the John Sargent Sr. Prize) and LIMA NIGHTS.http://mariearana.net

Martin Windrow

Born in 1944 and educated at Wellington College, Martin Windrow is an Associate of the Royal Historical Society and a member of the Foreign Legion Association of Great Britain. He has worked in publishing since the mid-1960s as a commissioning editor and author.

Michael Asher

Michael Asher served in the Parachute Regiment and SAS. A fluent Arab speaker, he has lived for years among the Bedouin peoples. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, his published books include SHOOT TO KILL (1990), THESIGER: A BIOGRAPHY (1994) and an acclaimed biography of Lawrence of Arabia. His THE REAL BRAVO TWO ZERO (2002) was a Sunday Times Top 10 best seller.

Mick Flynn

Squadron Corporal Major Mick Flynn CGC MC is currently the most highly decorated serving soldier in the British Army. He has seen active service in Northern Ireland, The Falklands, Iraq, Bosnia and Afghanistan. He is currently based in Windsor with his wife and children.